Astronomy Cast Ep. 413: Navigating Near

It’s hard enough finding your way around planet Earth, but what do you do when you’re trying to find your way around the Solar System? Today we’ll talk about how spacecraft navigate from world to world. Visit the Astronomy Cast Page to subscribe to the audio podcast! We record Astronomy Cast as a live Google+ […]

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Cassini to Perform its Final Flyby of Hyperion

On Sunday, May 31, the Cassini spacecraft will perform its last close pass of Hyperion, Saturn’s curiously spongelike moon. At approximately 9:36 a.m. EDT (13:36 UTC) it will zip past Hyperion at a distance of about 21,000 miles (34,000 km) – not its closest approach ever but considerably closer (by 17,500 miles/28,160 km) than it was when the image above was […]

The End is Near: NASA’s MESSENGER Now Running on Fumes

For more than four years NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft has been orbiting our solar system’s innermost planet Mercury, mapping its surface and investigating its unique geology and planetary history in unprecedented detail. But the spacecraft has run out of the fuel needed to maintain its extremely elliptical – and now quite low-altitude – orbit, and the Sun will […]